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Subject: 3 stars for effort
Bob's really struggling in this show. Poor guy. To his credit, he went on and played, despite a recent loss. Sounds like a real fight to get to the end of the show. Shows where Jerry's obviously been smoking speedballs, or shows in which the band sounds bad in a sad way like this always make me feel bad. I don't think this show was merely an off night. It sounds painful.
The pendulum really swung wide for the Dead; no other music makes me feel teary-eyed joy like they do, and no other band manages to sound as worn out and sad as they do (and no other band can do both at the same time like they can, either).
funky avocado -
Subject: Poor Bobby?
Jerry seems a bit more focused and comfortable with his songs than the prior night but Bobby just can't get it together. He can't remember lyrics(El Paso, ouch!), his voice sounds like shit, and his guitar is out of tune from what little I can hear of it in the mix.
Subject: Awful. Simply Awful.
Why anyone would enjoy this show beats me. Bob sounds terrible (okay, yeah, he was grieving for his dog...but his voice today still sucks), The boys are all lethargic and the show just drags. Worst-ever versions of El Paso, Johnny B. Goode, and Drums.
Hansen 50/50 -
Subject: R.I.P. Otis
Bobs dog Otis died on this day,He is definately struggling in this show,I can feel his pain everytime i hear this show,makes me think of my 2 dogs who are also in dog heavan !!!
The Real One -
Subject: Bobby befuddled or just sad?
I heard that Otis died soon before this show. The El Paso was too sad for Bobby to sing. I think that they retired it for a while after this show. I was right up front (really, right at the stage!) and Bobby looked so sad during El Paso.
I don't remember much about the show itself - which is unusual because I usually remember a lot! The only things I really remember is who I was with (thanks Scott & Mark!) and this cool tie-dye I bought that was almost too small for me (but I still have it!) and the fact that Jerry and the boyz were just beginning to get their new sound together. But since I was there and remember being so happy, I'm giving it 3 stars.
Really miss these guys...
Subject: Healy ad addendum
P.S.- The four stars are there to counteract your one. En garde, mon sourpuss.
Subject: Healy Blows
He sure as hell ain't Betty Cantor-Jackson.
Major Domo -
Subject: Oops! Duplicate!
Subject: "...at least I'm enjoying the ride."
This show finds Jerry in top form...sadly it could easily be a show from '95 in an alternate reality where Brent lives and Bobby is strung out and falling apart instead of Jerry. Yeah...that bad. It's a shame because the recording and mix are great overall. A friend who took some people to this show for their first Dead show experience recalls telling them afterward that it wouldn't hurt his feelings for them to say Bobby sounded bad. There are some rather nice Garcia moments however and a couple of his tunes would make nice filler. 3 stars overall (rounded up)
Note: the Finiculi Finicula file includes "Hell in a Bucket"...Bobby sounds either drunk or high as a kite singing it, complicated by guitar problems...as Jerry says before they start "Bob seems to be having some trouble with his guitar". Plus Healy is f*cking with the vox and the mix throughout. One of the "at least I'm enjoying the ride" lines has a chipmunk sounding octave effect on it and the levels take a few minutes to settle down. There is a quick but major drop out (aud patch?) in the middle of the last verse and Bobby sounds like a lunatic yelling "ride, ride, ride" drenched in Healy's delay for the crescendo. Must have been one hell of a party before the show! D-
A standard Sugaree pulls them back down to earth a bit, with beautiful vocals and playing by Jerry & co...fortunately Healy seems to have gotten satisfied with his mix, the vocals are beautifully blended and every instrument present. B
"El Paso" finds Bobby still sounding quite befuddled, singing the verses (what he can remember) quietly as if to himself in a vein attempt to get them in order...the only line he really nails is "tonight nothing's worse than this pain in my heart" and we and the rest of the band suffer through it with him. Worst El Paso I've heard! D-
Jerry answers with a strained "Loser" as if to sympathize. C-
With the lazy opening notes of "Little Red Rooster" Bobby lets us know we could be in for a long night. Fortunately Jerry is a much better slide player and cries and wails beautifully in lamentation for Bob's lost Rooster. Maybe if someone helped him find the damned rooster Bob could get his mojo back! Brent's corny "you ain't sh*t to me" verse certainly doesn't do it, so Bobby tries to kill him with his slide playing! D+ for comedy
"Brown Eyed Women" picks things up again and Jerry does some really nice picking and confident singing throughout. B
Bobby, still stumbling over the words, delivers a mechanical & flat "Cassidy". Though short and sweet, by the jam it's clear the band won't be deterred, Jerry leading them through a series of odd little places before bringing it to a close. C
"Don't Ease Me In" is rockin' and wraps up the bumpy first set aptly. I imagine the band and the crowd both retreating to take stock and "elevate". B
A lackluster "Scarlet" begins the second set with Bobby's guitar out of tune. Whatever went on during the set break doesn't seem to have helped and the band seems to slip into "finish the show" mode. Though Jerry licks his way through the short jam and transition to "Fire" nicely there is little dynamic variation. "Fire" itself is perfunctory. C
With the way things have progressed so far the first notes of "Looks Like Rain" are not encouraging, and Bobby follows through with a warbly, flat reading. The band doesn't linger too long but Bob doesn't fail to deliver some WEIRdness at the end..."hear it? come again?" C-
"Terrapin" offers hope but has Jerry and the boys sounding tired now, and statements do indeed "just seem vein at last..." the whole tune unfolds lazily and without anything more remarkable than that. C
Billy and Mickey give a cursory "Drums" but without much momentum carrying them in it falls flat. They get into what sounds like a china crash and buffalo drum bashing contest early on, with progressively more and more white noise thrown in, not much even spinner alley can work with here. C-
Given that Bobby has already been spacing out all night the boys skip "Space" and jump straight into "I Need a Miracle" as if to emphasize his desperation. C-
"Stella Blue" is sleepy and dreamier than usual with Brent making some ambient noises reminiscent of a Theremin under Jerry's vocals...he sings with passion ("...crying like the wind") and nails the lyrics taboot. Such a beautiful song... B-
Jerry gives Bobby a rest by sliding right into the opening licks of "Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad" from the last few of "Stella Blue" and it's a good choice to get the blood flowing for the first time in the set. Thousands of Deadheads wake up. Great solos by Jerry with some fab B3 from Brent thrown in. B-
Fortunately "Johnny B. Goode" is about a killer guitar player and Jerry rips this one. However, if it were about a great singer who had an impeccable memory the irony might be too much to bear. C-
Jerry choice of "It's All Over Now Baby Blue" seems almost like a victory lap ("We made it to the encore!"), he gives it his all, but even that sentiment fails to give the band much inspiration as they yawn their way through it. C